An independent pricing audit designed by Dr. Stefanos Zenios, a statistical expert and professor at Stanford University Business School has found that Hotwire turns up cheaper fares on three out of four searches.
The audit, verified by big-five public accounting firm KPMG, involved nearly 12,000 identical airfare searches on Hotwire, Expedia.com and Travelocity.com. The results -Hotwire Hot-Fares were lower in three out of four searches - beating Travelocity.com fares 81% of the time and Expedia.com fares 77% of the time.
“This is a scientifically designed, factual survey of actual fares with a very high level of statistical confidence—there are no opinions expressed in this audit,” said Dr. Zenios, Stanford Business School Statistics Professor and the audit`s creator. “We conducted a head-to-head comparison of real fares and found Hotwire Hot-Fares to be the price leader among the sites surveyed.”
In real time, the study compared actual Hotwire customer searches against all available fares on Expedia.com and Travelocity.com for the same dates of travel—published and opaque. It was not possible to survey Priceline.com, as they require a credit card purchase before displaying fares and a bidding process instead of showing their lowest price.
Big-five independent public accounting firm KPMG monitored the study and verified the integrity of the results. Due to the large number of fares sampled, the study also has a high level of accuracy - less than a 2% margin of error. The results of this study found that Hotwire:
* Offered the lowest fares in three out of four searches
* Offered lower fares than Travelocity.com 81% of the time and Expedia.com 77% of the time
* Saved even more money within seven days of travel: Hotwire winning fares save an average of $308 over Expedia.com and $229 over Travelocity.com. For a family of four, that can equate to a savings of more than $1,000.
“There are a number of sites out there that are claiming their airfares are the lowest,” said Karl Peterson, Hotwire`s president and chief executive officer. “This is the first time someone has actually sought statistical proof with the backing of a major accounting firm.” It will be interesting to see a similar audit when Orbitz is up and running.